Earthquake insurance: Who needs it, and what does it cover?


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Earthquake insurance is essential for homeowners and businesses located in areas that are susceptible to tremors.

Not only can a powerful earthquake destroy your property, but the aftershock damage it causes can be catastrophic, leaving you at risk of financial ruin. Understanding what type of coverage your policy provides — and who needs earthquake insurance — is critical when navigating this often confusing area of insured protection.

In this blog post, we’ll review the fundamentals of earthquake insurance so that you can make an informed decision about protecting yourself from these unpredictable forces of nature.

Earthquake insurance: Who needs it, and what does it cover?

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Here are some important points to consider about earthquake insurance:

  • Earthquake insurance is readily available in most places across the United States and Canada.
  • In certain states, homeowners are legally required to have earthquake insurance, while in other areas, it is only mandatory if you reside in a high-risk earthquake zone.
  • Before you start looking for a policy, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the type of coverage you require.
  • Take into account your specific needs and the potential risks in your area when deciding on the level of coverage.
  • Additionally, it’s crucial to determine whether you have a legal obligation to purchase earthquake insurance.

By carefully considering these factors and understanding your insurance requirements, you can make an informed decision about obtaining earthquake insurance coverage. Remember, being prepared is key to safeguarding your property and financial well-being in the face of potential seismic events.

What does earthquake insurance cover?

  • Earthquake insurance typically covers the cost of repairs for both your home and its contents if they are damaged as a result of an earthquake or aftershock.
  • Generally, it does not include coverage for floods that may be caused by earthquakes.
  • Depending on your policy, some items may be covered even if the damage was not caused directly by the earthquake, such as water damage from a cracked pipe.
  • It is important to note that most policies have deductibles, which will generally range from 5-25% of the items insured.
  • Additionally, coverage may vary significantly between insurance companies as some may offer certain extras that others don’t provide.
  • For example, some policies may offer living expenses coverage if you are displaced due to the earthquake damage, while others do not include this feature.

When considering earthquake insurance, it’s crucial to understand the coverage details and exclusions. Having a clear understanding of your policy can help you make informed decisions and ensure you have the appropriate protection in place.

Other considerations for earthquake insurance

When purchasing an earthquake insurance policy, there are several important factors to consider:

  • Coverage: Ensure that the policy covers all areas of your property that you want to protect, including pools, detached garages, and other structures. Review the policy details to confirm the extent of coverage for each area.
  • Exclusions: Some policies may have exclusions for certain types of items, such as antiques or jewelry. It’s crucial to clarify these exclusions with your insurance agent before finalizing the policy.
  • Premiums: The cost of earthquake insurance can vary significantly depending on your location and the likelihood of earthquake activity in your area. Take the time to evaluate the premiums associated with different policies and determine if the benefits outweigh the costs.
  • Risk assessment: If you reside in an area with a high risk of earthquakes, earthquake insurance may provide essential financial protection in the event of a disaster. Conduct a thorough risk assessment to determine if obtaining earthquake insurance is the best decision for your circumstances.

Remember, investing in earthquake insurance is a proactive step towards safeguarding your financial well-being in case of unforeseen seismic events. Evaluate your options carefully and consult with an insurance professional to make an informed decision.

Understanding the importance of earthquake insurance

Earthquake insurance is frequently disregarded by individuals who assume that their standard homeowner’s or business insurance policies will suffice. However, it is crucial to comprehend the significance of obtaining earthquake insurance, as it can determine whether one recovers or faces financial ruin in the aftermath of a quake. It is important to remember that a typical insurance policy does not provide coverage for damages caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes. Therefore, securing earthquake insurance is an essential protective measure.

Benefits of securing earthquake insurance:

  • Financial protection against earthquake-related damages
  • Coverage for repairing or rebuilding damaged properties
  • Assistance with temporary living expenses during the recovery process
  • Peace of mind knowing you are prepared for unforeseen seismic events

By recognizing the value of earthquake insurance and taking the necessary steps to secure coverage, individuals can safeguard their assets and ensure a smoother recovery process in the event of an earthquake.

Who needs earthquake insurance?

Even though everyone could benefit from earthquake insurance, it becomes particularly important for those residing in earthquake-prone zones. Here are some key reasons why homeowners, businesses, and renters in these regions should consider getting earthquake insurance:

  • Protection for your property: Earthquakes can cause severe damage to buildings and structures. Having earthquake insurance ensures that your property is protected financially in the event of such a disaster.
  • Safeguarding your belongings: Earthquakes can result in the loss or damage of personal belongings. With earthquake insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that your possessions are covered.
  • Financial stability: The aftermath of an earthquake can be financially devastating. Repairing or rebuilding damaged property can be costly. By having earthquake insurance, you can mitigate the financial burden and maintain stability during the recovery process.
  • Peace of mind: Living in an earthquake-prone area can be stressful. Having earthquake insurance provides peace of mind, knowing that you are prepared and protected in case of a disaster.

Considering these factors, it is highly recommended for individuals and businesses in earthquake-prone zones to evaluate their insurance needs and consider obtaining earthquake insurance coverage.

What exactly does earthquake insurance cover?

Earthquake insurance offers valuable coverage for your property and belongings in the event of an earthquake.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Repair or replacement coverage: Earthquake insurance helps cover the costs of repairing or replacing your property and belongings that have been damaged by an earthquake.
  • Policy specifics: The coverage details may vary depending on the policy and the insurance provider. It typically includes dwellings, personal property, and additional living expenses if you are temporarily displaced from your home.
  • Thorough understanding: It is crucial to carefully read your policy or consult with an insurance expert to fully comprehend the extent of your coverage.

Protect your valuable assets and ensure peace of mind by considering earthquake insurance for comprehensive protection against the unexpected impacts of earthquakes.

What factors influence the cost of earthquake insurance?

Several factors can influence the cost of your earthquake insurance policy:

  • Location of your property
  • Type of construction
  • Value of your property
  • Chosen deductible and policy limits

By understanding these factors, you can better navigate the cost of earthquake insurance and make a more informed decision. It’s important to consider these aspects as they play a significant role in determining the overall cost of your policy. So take the time to evaluate each factor and choose the coverage options that align with your needs and budget.


Earthquake insurance can be essential to protect your property and finances from the devastating impacts of a powerful earthquake. It’s important to understand what type of coverage is available, who needs it, and what factors influence the cost. By understanding these aspects, you can make an informed decision about protecting yourself with earthquake insurance.


Is earthquake insurance available in all areas?

No, not all areas offer earthquake insurance. Earthquake coverage is generally only available in areas where the risk of an earthquake is high. Check with your local insurers to learn more about availability and coverage options.

What should I look for when buying earthquake insurance?

When buying earthquake insurance, you should look for comprehensive coverage that fits your needs and budget. Consider factors such as the location of your property, type of construction, value of your property, and chosen deductible and policy limits to determine the cost of coverage. Additionally, make sure you understand what kind of damage is covered by your policy so that you can be properly protected in case of an earthquake.

Can I purchase earthquake insurance at any time?

Yes, you can generally purchase earthquake insurance at any time. However, it’s important to note that coverage may not be available in some areas. Additionally, certain providers may impose waiting periods before a policy is active or have restrictions on when policies can be purchased or canceled. Therefore, it’s important to research your options and seek the advice of an insurance professional to determine which policy is best for your situation.

What should I do in the event of an earthquake?

In the event of an earthquake, it’s important to remain calm and take action as soon as possible. Immediately evacuate any unsafe buildings and move to open areas away from buildings or power lines. If you feel safe, take photographs of any visible damage and make a list of all damaged items. Contact your insurer as soon as possible to report the incident and file a claim.

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